Accounting Issue 2014

The 10 Commandments: Unbreakable Accounting Rules for Real Estate Pros

The Accounting Commandments

Real estate accounting manifests itself at the intersection of business, politics, family and, perhaps, everything else. With millions of dollars, square feet and jobs hanging in the balance, Commercial Observer asked a group of big-time accountants, insurance executives, lawyers and real estate professionals for their best guidance on all things financial.

The spiritual talks bestowed CO with a list of commandments ranging from the macro advice we expect and need from financial advisors, to Elijah-like warnings about keeping federal aid for terrorism insurance and tax-deferred savings from like-kind property exchanges intact. And perhaps likening fees on secondary homes, extra sales taxes and surcharges on foreigners who sell property to the 10 plagues would represent something of a hyperbole, but we are willing to take that risk. If not enlightenment, we hope you gain some insight from our somewhat (O.K. definitely) sacrilegious list. Read More

Lease Beat

IEX Relocates to 4WTC from 7WTC

4 World Trade Center. (Silverstein Properties)

IEX, a start-up stock market, is moving from 3,600 square feet at 7 World Trade Center to 13,000 feet at 4 World Trade Center, both Silverstein Properties buildings, the developer announced.

The firm signed a seven-year lease on the 44th floor of the 56-story, 2.3-million-square-foot building and will move in April 2015. A source with knowledge of the deal said the asking rent is in the mid-$70s per foot. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Terra Funds Witkoff Land Deal for Sunset Strip Development

Rendering of the Marriott Edition hotel 9040 Sunset Boulevard.

Terra—the Latin word for “ground”—is becoming all the more relevant for one firm. Terra Capital Partners closed its third land deal as the mezzanine lender continues to shift its attention to non-income-producing and transitional assets for established sponsors.

The New York-based firm provided a $25 million mezzanine loan to fund the Witkoff Group’s acquisition and pre-development of 9040 Sunset Boulevard, a 1.4-acre development site in West Hollywood, Calif. Read More

Land Use

City to Sell $110.6M Land and Development Package for $1

Taconic 52nd Street

The de Blasio administration will sell a 25,204-square-foot plot on the southern side of West 53rd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues and a development rights package to the Clinton Housing Development Corporation for $1 if city officials greenlight the proposed transaction next week.

The discount purchase would clear the way for Clinton Housing’s 103-unit affordable development slated for 530-548 West 53rd Street and Taconic Investment Partners and Ritterman Capital‘s upcoming 405-unit development with 81 affordable units at 525 West 52nd Street, according to a newly-released proposal from the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development reviewed by Commercial Observer. Read More

Mortgage Observer

TF Cornerstone Closes Two Agency Loans Totaling $365M

95 Horatio Street.

The Singer & Bassuk Organization advised TF Cornerstone in the arrangement of two permanent agency loans totaling $365 million for the New York developer’s rental apartment buildings at 95 Horatio Street in the Meatpacking District and 4610 Center Boulevard in Long Island City, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

TF Cornerstone secured a $165 million Freddie Mac loan through Capital One for its Horatio Street property, said Jeremy Shell, the company’s head of finance and acquisitions, and Andrew Singer, chairman and chief executive officer of Singer & Bassuk. Read More

In the Office

Puppy Perks: Inside TAMI Office Culture


It’s doggone nice to work for tech companies these days. Employees at online content discovery platform Outbrain welcomed four canines from a doggie daycare and boarding business next door to the firm’s office near Union Square on a recent afternoon.

The 120 New York City employees of the company, which posts recommended links on the websites of media outlets like CNN and ESPN, enjoy office perks like the food and ping-pong that are becoming the norm in the highly-sought class of tenants in the TAMI–technology, advertising, media and information–sectors. But the company also distributes unconventional goodies such as daily personal allotments of $10 worth of the company’s digital ad space and the hour-long visit to Outbrain’s Kramer conference room last week by dogs from Biscuits & Bath Dog Retreat. Read More

Lease Beat

Metro-North Expands Presence in Grand Central Area

The Graybar Building.

Metro-North Commuter Railroad Company has expanded its presence at the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Avenue to house the railroad’s police department.

According to a press release issued by SL Green, the Graybar Building’s owner, Metro-North inked a 20-year lease for 30,254 square feet. This increases its total occupancy at the site to 296,257 square feet. The expansion will occur on portions of the building’s fourth and sixth floors. Read More

Lease Beat

Monster Worldwide Renews Lease in Midtown East

622 Third Avenue.

Monster Worldwide, the parent company of job search engine, has renewed its lease at 622 Third Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company recently signed a 10-year lease renewal for 30,000 square feet that it occupies on the entire 39th floor and a portion of the 37th floor at the building located between East 40th and East 41st Streets. Read More

On the Market

NYC REIT Closes on 570 Seventh Avenue, Renames Building

A rendering of the lobby at the renamed 200 West 41st Street. (Neoscape)

American Realty Capital New York City REIT, a public non-traded real estate investment trust, recently closed on the $170.3 million purchase of 570 Seventh Avenue from Carlyle Investment Management and Capstone Equities. Now the office building is eschewing its Garment Center history with a new address: 200 West 41st Street.

Along with a new address comes a new identity including an entrance on West 41st Street and a multimillion-dollar repositioning including prebuilts to attract TAMI, or technology, advertising, media and information technology, companies, Commercial Observer has learned. Read More

Sales Beat

Savanna and Feil Sell 21 Penn to TIAA-CREF

21 Penn Plaza

Financial services company TIAA-CREF has purchased the 16-story, 378,547-square-foot 21 Penn Plaza building from Savanna and the Feil OrganizationCommercial Observer has learned.

While representatives for both sides of the deal declined to state the purchase price of the renovated Class B building that sits one block west of Penn Station, the owners placed the property on the market this summer with an asking price of about $250 million, Crain’s New York Business reported. Savanna and Feil inked 225,000 square feet of leases and implemented $5 million in building upgrades to deliver the property to TIAA-CREF with 98 percent occupancy, said Robert Knakal of Massey Knakal Realty Services. Read More

Sales Beat

W’burg Eatery Sells Parking Lot for $9.6M

526 Union Avenue

The 114-year-old North Williamsburg Italian eatery Bamonte’s has sold its 10,000-square-foot parking lot to Alliance Private Capital Group for $9.6 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

The development site at 526 Union Avenue allows CEO Michael Kohn’s company to build up to 36,000 square feet on the site, which is zoned residential, brokers from MNS Investment Sales & Advisory told CO. The sale, which hasn’t hit property records, closed Nov. 5 and calculates out to just over $266 per square foot. Alliance officials intend to build a residential property on the site, MNS broker David Behin said. Read More

Lease Beat

Fashion Designer Cuts a Deal to Relocate in Garment District

132 West 36th Street.

Women’s fashion designer Donna Morgan will move three blocks south in the Garment District through a seven-year, 8,272-square-foot lease at the Kaufman Organization‘s 132 West 36th Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company, which designs outfits ranging from wedding dresses to casual wear, will occupy a showroom and office on the north side of the eighth floor of the structure between Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Kaufman officials expect them to relocate from 530 Seventh Avenue in February 2015 at the building where asking rents run in the high $40s per square foot, they said. Read More